The black-vented shearwater has a fluttering flight pattern, effortlessly gliding close to the waters surface (6). This species displays impressive agility while hunting, either snatching prey from the surface or diving up to 20 meters into the ocean to catch fish, squid and sometimes crustaceans (2).
The black-vented shearwater forms colonies for at least ten months of the year, arriving at the colony site during the night in order to reduce predation by western gulls (Larus occidentalis). The nesting colonies can appear to be deserted by day, but at night they come alive with the calling of shearwaters. Many individuals remain in the nesting area year-round, but some disperse along the coast to the north and south after breeding (2).
Nest burrows are about 95 centimetres long, with the narrow entrance allowing just one individual to pass at a time (2). To create the nest burrow in sandy soil, the black-vented shearwater uses its bill to break apart the sand, and will scrape out the burrow with its webbed feet (2). The nests are reused each breeding season (6). The eggs are laid in March and April, and hatching begins in early May (5). The young fledge the nest in July and August. It is thought that the black-vented shearwater reaches maturity after five to six years (4).